Former top cop demands white paper on unity bills


Elizabeth Zacharia, The Malaysian Insider

Retired senior police officer Tan Sri Zaman Khan created a stir at the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) discussion on national unity bills last night when he slammed them for not consulting the public on the issue.

Calling it an “elitist” event, the member of Perkasa’s National Unity Front (BPN) slammed the council members for not publishing the bills as a white paper for the public to deliberate over before presenting them to the Cabinet last week.

“Instead of only discussing it here, why don’t you publish a white paper and let the public take a look at it too?” Zaman (pic) questioned them in a forum in Kuala Lumpur.

NUCC Working Committee on Law and Policy deputy chairman Lim Chee Wee told Zaman the discussion was the third in a series of consultations with the public about the proposal of three unity bills.

“We have an action plan and this is only the third consultation session. We have more coming up,” he added.

However, Zaman reiterated that the council members needed to consult the public first before drafting the bills and presenting it to the cabinet.

The first draft of the three bills – the Racial and Religious Hate Crimes Bill, the National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission Bill‎ – were presented to the cabinet last week.

Malaysian Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee co-chair Andrew Khoo also censured Zaman, asking the former Federal CID director why he had never bothered to call for the publication of a white paper when he was a top cop.

“You are insisting on it now, but why didn’t you ask for a white paper for all the other laws tabled then?” Khoo questioned.

Zaman did not answer.